The wind blows wildly at the new Salt River Fields at Talking Stick as Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Cecelia Antone, better known within the Community as “Tweety,” stands making her frybread during the spring training game between the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers on March 7.
As her workers scramble to anchor down the tarps at the frybread stand, Antone talks calmly about a dream that has become reality for her. She is the proud owner of Tweety’s Pima Frybread, a concession stand located at the northeast corner of the stadium field, close to center field.
Her dream really began as a coincidence, she said, when she took her daughter Angela to a Salt River Fields job fair. Robin Enos, director of human resources for SRPMIC, asked Antone if she was going to apply for a job too. Antone jokingly said, “I don’t do hourly.” What Antone didn’t know that within earshot was Jay Satenspiel, general manager of Ovations Food Services, the vendor handling foodservice concessions at Salt River Fields.
Satenspiel asked her what she did, and Antone explained to him that she had a small catering company that made frybread and tortillas and sold the products here on the Community.
He asked her what volume she could handle, and Antone replied, “You just tell me when and where, and I’ll tell you how much.” The two worked out a deal, and now Antone spends her time preparing her dough for her daily sales at Tweety’s Pima Frybread at Salt River Fields.
Antone thanks her parents, Alfretta and Miles Antone, for instilling in her and her siblings the philosophy that hard work is what it takes to get jobs done, and customer service is key. “And I am glad they spanked us too,” she said with a laugh.
According to Antone, the slow economy is having an impact on many of the larger franchise food vendors at the ballpark, and she is happy that she can be competitive with them. She said, “I have always wanted to know how I would fare against franchises, and now I know.
“I am really happy that we are able to do this. I am happy I got the opportunity to sell here and glad to know that I can compete with franchises.”
Meeting former Arizona Diamondbacks player Luis Gonzalez at the groundbreaking event was exciting for Antone, but what was even more exciting for her is that he stopped by her booth to try out her frybread. Unfortunately, Antone was not on sight that day. Gonzalez did, however, autograph the Tweety’s Pima Frybread sign.